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CYBERBULLYING

Words can do significant damage.

42

Percent of students say that they have been bullied online

(Bully Project).

92

Percent of teens go online daily, where conversations can turn ugly.

(Pew Research).

13

Million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus or at home through their technology

(Bully Project).

cy·ber·bul·ly·ing

/sībərˈbo͝olēiNG/

Unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Anonymity fuels cruel behavior.

There’s a growing trend towards anonymity on the web. Apps like Ask.fm allow kids to post and reply to questions anonymously. When the risk of being caught decreases, aggressive and hostile behavior increases. That’s just human nature.

Consider this true story….In September 2013, 12-year old Rebecca Sedwick jumped off a building to her death after being bullied mercilessly by a small group of female peers. Felony stalking charges against two girls, ages 12 and 14, were subsequently dropped, who used Ask.fm and other methods to bully Rebecca. Three other suicides in the UK and Ireland are tied to the social media site.

It’s incumbent on parents to know their kids and study their friend behaviors. If your child constantly deals with drama in friendships, then this is an indicator of how he/she might abuse certain apps.

NEXT STEPS: Although bullies are nothing new, there are certain apps that enable cruel behavior. Stay informed on what kids are using so that you can help your children learn how to use technology well. Sign up to receive our newsletter below (where is says “STAY UP TO DATE”). We’ll do the research for you.